Yes, You Can Afford to Do All the Fun Things You Want in College — Here’s How to Save For It

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Living your best college student life can come with a hefty price tag. Whether it’s study abroad expenses, spring break travel, or that finals week pick-me-up you’ve had in your shopping cart since syllabus week, college is full of fun moments that can cost a pretty penny. But don’t worry: there are plenty of ways you can save money at any stage of your college career to use later on for fun, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Find an off-campus internship or job

Getting that real-world experience in your field is an awesome way to not only build your resume, but to make some extra money on the side. Don’t be afraid to a get head start in finding a paid internship or co-op even as a freshman or sophomore — the more internship experience under your belt, the better. Plus, paid internships are perfect for getting to know what kind of work you are interested in doing in the future. You can even apply for a paid internship that may interest you but isn’t related to your major just to see if that field is something you’d one day might like to pursue!

Get a job on-campus

The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to find new money-making opportunities without leaving campus. Lots of universities offer federal work-study, though they are available only to eligible students. If you don’t meet work-study requirements, there are plenty of other ways to pick up some extra cash: your professor might be looking for a TA, or the campus safety team might be in need of a new shuttle driver. This could be an opportunity to learn a fun new skill, like teaching a group fitness class at your college’s gym (why not?), or you can even get paid for simply showing up to class and taking notes (the bare minimum, let’s be real) by becoming a notetaker for learning-impaired students. Ask around to see where your school posts on-campus jobs!

Volunteer for research studies on campus

This may sound like a strange one at first glance, but most studies won’t require you to plug weird wires to your head. Some can be as easy as tracking your sleep habits (and what’s easier than sleeping?). They can even be lucrative, and require you commit only a few hours a semester. Check your college’s job listings (Student Life or other, similar departments usually keeps a log of these), or trek down to that old school job board hanging in the campus center to see which projects are looking for one-time volunteers.  

Make a budget & stick with it

If you’re a college student, you’re probably busy studying, working, applying to internships, pursuing fun and resume-building extracurriculars, and — oh, right — having a social life. When college life gets super hectic, it’s helpful to already have a budget in place for you to follow.

By building a monthly budget and staying on track with it, you can go about your college activities and responsibilities knowing your finances are balanced.

Open a bank account

This one is a no-brainer. Especially if you’re attending a school out-of-state, opening a checking and savings account should be one of the first things you do as a freshman. It’s a good idea to choose a bank with lots of national locations like Chase so you can access your money while at school, back at home, or anywhere else you go. These days, banks make it easier than ever for college students who are new to managing money to use their services. Opening a Chase College Checking Account is a perfect, easy way to start learning the basics of banking.  

College is the time for taking advantage of fun opportunities that you may never get to do again, so make the most of it by saving early and as much as you can!


JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC